As the IRON FIRE burns

Martin Steene and Kirk Bacharach aren't exactly household names, even among metalheads, but over the last year or so I have come to greatly appreciate their work in a Danish band called IRON FIRE. The lineup is really a revolving door of musicians with an alumnus list that rivals that of MEGADETH (which is a pretty impressive, if dubious, achievement).

From about 2003 to 2010, they released a string of truly brilliant albums, starting with Revenge in 2006 and culminating with Metalmorphosized. The latter is one of my favourite power metal albums ever made; it starts off a bit slow and silly, but by the time you get to "The Phantom Symphony", you know you've been listening to something truly special.

They then came out with the sci-fi concept album Voyage of the Damned in 2012 and... more or less disappeared for four years. It was as if the constantly changing lineup had worn down both their creativity and their will to carry on creating music, because while the album was very good, it wasn't as consistent as its predecessors and didn't have anywhere near the same impact.

Happily, though, they seem to have gotten themselves sorted and have now made quite the return to form with 2016's Among the Dead. This has to be the hardest, fiercest IRON FIRE album that I've heard since Metalmorphosized, and it is quite something to listen to.


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